Westinghouse chooses nuclear option for 3D printing projects due in 2018

Diagram of a Westinghouse nuclear thimble plug on the bottom of a fuel Holder. Photo via Westinghouse.US Nuclear Energy company Westinghouse has announced that it will be installing an additively manufactured fuel component by 2018. In doing so, it hopes to be the first company to do so for a commercial reactor.

The part in question will be a thimble plugging device, and its manufacturing and eventual installation will follow muliple simultaneous research and development into reducing costs for 3D printing obsolete components, fuel structural devices and prototypes.

The R&D projects include both internal research into 3D printed parts and two projects funded by the US Department of Energy.

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